The Pandemic Heralds an Uptick in Homicides in Texas Cities
The pandemic hit the world, the nation, and the State of Texas hard. To make matters that much more difficult, NPR reports that homicides also took a turn for the worse in 2020, and this leaves many wondering how we managed to make this happen – given that so many of us were in lockdown for the majority of the year. Let’s take a closer look.
Rising Murder Rates
All of the following cities saw rising murder rates in 2020:
And Texas cities are no exception. NBC reports that Dallas was used as a sample city in a recent report related to the pandemic and crime rates and that the results are nothing if not concerning. Consider the following:
Throughout the nation (across all 34 sample cities in the study), homicide rates increased by 30 percent overall (in relation to rates for 2019).
Aggravated assaults rose by 6 percent, and gun assaults rose by 8 percent.
Domestic violence rates also increased.
It is worth noting that property and drug crime rates saw significant reductions in 2020.
Searching for the Answers
These reports leave experts with few answers regarding the cause of the trends witnessed, but many posit the following:
The disenfranchised may have taken law and order into their own hands during the social unrest that accompanied the pandemic in 2020, which could account for some of the increases in violence.
In many of the sample cities, including Dallas, there was a decrease in traditional face-to-face police work because of the requirements imposed related to social distancing and quarantining.
The decreases experienced are probably accounted for by the fact that most of us were at home during this stretch of time – keeping our distance from everyone else.
Other Texas Cities
Dallas was not alone in its high homicide rates in 2020. In fact, an August article in The Wall Street Journal reports all of the following:
With a 64 percent increase, Austin tops the report’s list of the 15 largest cities and their increase or decrease in homicide rate during the pandemic.
Fort Worth ranked third with a 42 percent increase in homicides.
San Antonio ranked fourth with a 34 percent increase in homicides.
Houston ranked seventh with a 27 percent increase in homicides.
Suffice to say that Texas is nothing if not over-represented in this grim study.
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